Dematerialization and Immaterialization - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Dematerialization refers to technological production using less energy and fewer or lighter-weight materials. Immaterialization is a similar approach, militating against the consumption of material goods.

Dematerialization

The concept of dematerialization is strongly associated with the work of economist and planner Paul Hawken, who proposed that industry should recalibrate inputs and outputs to adapt to environmental constraints. "To accomplish this, industrial design would employ 'dematerialization,' using less material per unit of output; improving industrial processes and materials employed to minimize inputs; and a large scale shift away from carbon-based fuels to hydrogen fuel, an evolution already under way that is referred to as 'decarbonization"' (Hawken 1993, p. 63). Indeed, Hawken sees dematerialization as a long-term trend, because much contemporary technology—refrigerators, televisions, cars, even houses—already weigh less and use less material than they did in the 1970s. According to Hawken's calculations, during the ten...

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This section contains 831 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Dematerialization and Immaterialization Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Dematerialization and Immaterialization from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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